Tonight, Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan will be giving important speeches at the Jack Kemp Foundation dinner, Politico tells us. The speeches are important because they're framing how the two young stars of the Republican Party plan to move forward.
Rubio also plans new ideas on immigration, aimed not at broad citizenship but at creating a bigger Hispanic middle class. “The answer,” Rubio will say in his after-dinner remarks, “is not to make rich people poorer. The answer is to make poor people richer.” If he makes the sale in countless such appearances over the next two years, he’ll begin a formal presidential campaign shortly after the midterm elections of November 2014, Rubio sources tell us.
Ryan, 42, will kick off his own drive to redefine the party — and himself — as the pre-dinner keynote speaker before 300-plus conservative faithful on the same stage, detailing his thinking on how people of all classes can rise up economically and improve socially. Top Republicans tell us Ryan tried to push his ideas for a more creative “war on poverty” during the presidential campaign but was muzzled by nervous Nellies at Mitt Romney’s Boston headquarters who didn’t see an immediate political payoff. So Ryan seethed when the “47 percent” tape emerged, convinced that the impact was worse because the campaign had no record on issues relating to inclusion or poverty, exacerbating the out-of-touch image that the hidden camera cemented.
I don't think these two guys can just chime in with the same "tax cuts for the rich will benefit the poor" bullshit, because I think the American people are finally, blessedly, sick of hearing it. But Republicans (especially the kind of wealthy Republicans who'd attend something as stuffy as a Jack Kemp Foundation dinner) don't seem to be sick of it yet. And if you need proof of the fact that Republicans haven't learned anything in the wake of the 2012 election, you can't do much better than the knowledge that Paul Ryan—the most hated VP candidate since Dan Quayle—is considered the leader of his party now.